519: MARRIAGE THROUGH THE YEARS: PART 7 — SANDWICH GENERATION

“Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about and the hardest thing in the world to do.” Matt Walsh

Today, many couples are marrying later, starting families later. People are also living longer, so there is a real scenario happening for people in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. 

Simultaneously caring for their children AND dealing with aging parents at the same time. This is the sandwich generation, sandwiched between parents and kids.

When this occurs, you’ll find that you are uniquely challenged in both your life and your marriage for many different reasons.

You’re pulled in multiple directions, and all of that can be emotionally charged. It can be tough to decide which things to prioritize.

According to SanGenLife

  • 44% of people aged 45-55 have at least one parent still living and at least one child under the age of 21.
  • 15% of people in the sandwich generation are financially supporting their parents and children.

That’s a significant number of you managing unique circumstances including:

  • Feeling like someone always needs you or needs you to solve their problem. 
  • Juggling everyone’s expectations, including your own.
  • Feeling like you are letting someone down (do you care for parents or care for kids?)
  • Dealing with parents giving their two cents or disciplining your children differently than you would.
  • Feeling judged by your parents for the decisions you make.
  • Running on empty with no time for your spouse.

When there are significant demands on you that challenge your limits, you may find it’s the most intimate relationship that suffers the most. 

Know that no matter how many things are spinning around, you need to make your marriage a priority. 

You don’t have to be all things to all people. 

During these stressful times, it’s even more important to nurture your marriage. It may be hard, but it is a manageable season in your life. 

It’s time to get real and ask yourself a few questions to get clarity. 

It’s time to take stock of where your focus needs to be. Take a minute to do a self-assessment and ask yourself a few things: 

  • What things are critical to you and need your attention more than others? 
  • Are there outside services (paid or provided for free/barter by friends or family) that can support the needs of kids or aging parents? 
  • What are the “wants and needs” of your circumstances right now?
  • What can you do to make time for your marriage? 

Once you identify which things are creating a strain, you can prioritize where you need to begin finding support. 

It’s these conversations that show you where you can make “shifts” and schedule those things that you need to do like date nights or having a walk and talk with your spouse to stay connected.

It’s not all doom and gloom; there are many amazing benefits of having two generations on either side of you. You need to clear out the noise and celebrate that. 

There is wisdom and magic that both generations can bring. Enjoy it!

Sandwich Generation Infographic: Statistics and Trends

507: Marriage Through The Years Part 1 — Newly Wed

509: Marriage Through The Years Part 2 — Child Rearing Years

511: Marriage Through The Years Part 3 — Chore Wars

513: Marriage Through The Years Part 4 — Work-Life Balance

515: Marriage Through The Years Part 5 — Moving Day

517: Marriage Through The Years Part 6 — Getting Older

519: Marriage Through The Years Part 7 — Sandwich Generation

521: Marriage Through The Years Part 8 — Golden Years

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